The Cedar River and Iowa Central Railway Co. (The CRANDIC Route) is an island/walk-in style N scale model railroad in a 44’ X 22’ L-shaped basement room. This prototype-based freelanced road runs from Kansas City, MO north to central Iowa. Features of this operation-oriented layout include many scratch-built and kit-bashed structures; unique rural agricultural scenery of corn, soybeans and other cropland; and many mini-scenes, some humorous and some showing everyday life in the Midwest on this 1968-era freight and passenger railroad.
The CRANDIC uses Digital Command Control (Digitrax) for train control, FRS radios to communicate with trains, a telephone system to communicate between dispatcher and yards, and a modern computerized centralized traffic control system (CATS). An operating signal system with working semaphores and searchlight signals is in place. Car routing is accomplished through JMRI Operations that generates Switch Lists and Manifests. A double-ended staging yard simulates off-layout destinations and interchange with the ATSF, CNW, GN, MKT, RI, and UP. A full crew normally consists of a dispatcher and assistant, trainmaster, two yardmasters, two to four switch crews and three to five train crews.
The CRANDIC reflects the many talents of a crew that works or operates monthly. The layout has been featured in Great Model Railroads 2013 and the July/August 2006 N Scale Railroading magazine as well as various articles in Model Railroader and the NMRA Magazine.